What is the most life changing experience that most people share?

Here are some of the possibilities that came up at work among some of us with a little too much time on our hands:

  1. Paying for your own food, clothing and shelter
  2. Marriage
  3. Having/raising a child
  4. Falling in love
  5. witnessing a death
  6. being subjected to violence
  7. the death of close family members
  8. excelling at something

I haven’t experienced marriage or children, but I have experinced all the others. I question, though, whether they all even deserve to be on the list, particularly 5-7.

I was in a minority (of 2) at work on voting for #1, against a strong contingent of professional mommies who voted for #3. And when I say professional mommies, I mean it. They teach courses in pregnancy and childbirth.

Anyway, what are your thoughts?

So what are your thoughts?

Well, FWIW, I’m male and soon to be 32. I have experienced #1-7 but not #8.

I would say that, far and away, having a child has been the most life changing experience for me and, looking at the population of the world, it seems to be something that I have in common with at least a few other people.

As far as #1 goes, I would guess that there aren’t too many people for whom paying the rent was a life changing experience :0.

I’ve experienced all except #5, and I’ve got to go with the mommies, so far, and vote for #3, with #4 a close second.

I’ve had very little experience with #6, though.

Damn. I can’t believe I couldn’t even get the freaking smilie right. See? I told you I haven’t experienced #8.

Well, FWIW, I’m male and soon to be 32. I have experienced #1-7 but not #8.

I would say that, far and away, having a child has been the most life changing experience for me and, looking at the population of the world, it seems to be something that I have in common with at least a few other people.

As far as #1 goes, I would guess that there aren’t too many people for whom paying the rent was a life changing experience :).

I’m supposed to say ‘becoming a Christian’, but I think in all honesty, I’d have to say that getting married and becoming a parent are the two things that changed everything (for the better.

birth. Your own.

Clever, MLS. :smiley: However, IMO, one really needs to be able to remember the experience for it to count.

Okay, then, I’d go for the birth of your own child. Seconded by the death of a parent. IMO the others on the list don’t begin to compare.

One I’ve not experienced, but have observed that it is definitely life-changing is being personally involved in a war. Many men returned from WWII or Viet Nam profoundly changed. That could count as “being subjected to violence,” but of course it’s over a prolonged period of time. So maybe you don’t count that as a single “experience.”

War would definitely count. So would rape, or being beaten by a parent as a child.

Although, on the other hand, would war be an experience that “most people” share? Unfortunately, it is in some places. For that matter, I wonder if witnessing a death would be a “most people” event, either?

Death. Most definitely.

Receiving unconditional love / Giving unconditional love.
Not easy, but possible. Definitely life changing.

  1. Marriage
  2. Having/raising a child

I honestly cannot name one year out of the past ten that I’ve haven’t dealt with at least one of those on your list!!

“experience most people share” seems to be the key words here. so ill go with the old stand by of having kids.

personally i dont share in that common experience, and dont plan too, also its not hard to find people for whom having kids changes nothing. but in general, the “most shared experience” if youre a attentive and willing parent, then the answer is kids.